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Misconception Alert

Exposure to any amount of radiation will result in death or a terminal disease.

When we speak of radiation, we are referring to all types of radiation, including electromagnetic radiation that is a natural, constant aspect of our lives. This electromagnetic spectrum includes cosmic radiation in the form of gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet rays, visible light, infrared rays, and radio waves. We are constantly bombarded by radiation; life on earth evolved under conditions of exposure to multiple forms of radiation. Everything in the world is radioactive and always has been. The ocean, the mountains, the air, and our food all expose us to small amounts of natural background radiation. This is because unstable isotopes that give off or emit ionizing radiation are found everywhere. Concern arises when exposure is increased beyond the "normal" levels. In these instances, precautions must be taken to prevent adverse effects on the body. Precautionary methods include decreasing the amount of time you are exposed to radiation and increasing the distance and shielding between you and the source of the radiation.


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Last updated: April 4, 2002


“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestor, we borrow it from our children”
Native American Proverb